Friday, November 30, 2012

Scooby-Doo: A Gritty Noir Reboot. Part One

The Door Reads "Mystery Inc."  All but one name has been scratched off the glass.
Norville Rogers awoke in his desk around noon.  He had passed out in his desk chair again.  Its not like he had anywhere else to go, as he had been evicted from his apartment.  So the choices are sleep in the VW van outside, or be warm in his office.
He choked down some asprin and took a long look in the mirror.  He almost didn't recognize himself anymore.  A five o'clock shadow, and his disheveled hair...not been cut in a while, had become rather shaggy.
Norville heard his dog walking towards him.  He shut his eyes tight..."Please not today" he thought.
Still, his dog Scooby looked at him, tilted his head, Norville could hear the voice plain as day in his head "Rello"  He must be going insane.
"Come on Scooby, lets get you some breakfast."  Went to the kitchen and poured the dog some treats in to a bowl, as he had ran out of dog food.  The rest of the cupboards were bare as well, so Rogers decided to eat some of the dog snacks as well.
As he walked back to his desk, he noticed the red light flashing on his phone.  A voice mail.  Could it be work?  Probably another bill collector.  He picked up the headset, and dialed the voice mail number.
"Hey buddy, we've got a job that would be great for you to work with us on.  You could bring your friend if you like." Norville looked over at his dog, and winced.  It was Fred.  Everything great happened to Fred.  He was great at sports, he married the rich prom queen Daphne.  His business didn't go down the toilet.  "Its a great paying job." The voice mail continued. "Franklin Harbin of Harbin Industries needs us to investigate some strange goings on, you know...the usual...Just give me a shout...we...we miss you buddy."  Norville slammed the phone down.   If Velma had called, he would have no hesitation on going.  Velma was always there for him.  When on investigations, when the team decided to split up, Velma always wanted to be on his team.  Maybe she pitied him.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Left Alive

He awoke to sounds of men screaming all around him.  "Am I this...hell?"  He tried to stand, but felt pinned to the ground.  Staring down at his feet he noticed the spear that was driven straight through his gut and deep into the ground.  Last he remembered was  that he had been knocked from his horse, right onto his back.
"KILL ME, PLEASE!" he heard from his compatriots and enemies alike who were writhing in pain to wounds that had not yet claimed their lives.  He knew by the warm flow from his mid section that if he were not to act soon, would be among the dead.
He tried to move, but every stretch he could feel his wound tear more and more.  He grasped the spear in one hand breathed deep and then with his other.  He tried to break the weapon, but could not get any leverage.   He needed something to break his imprisonment.  When he laid his head back on the ground and turned to the left, he saw his friend...well, half of him anyways.  His axe was in arms' reach.  Or so he thought.  He reached out, but his wound told him no, as it tore the wound even more.  He reached out again, screaming in pain.  He thought about how far the spear could be dug in the ground.  Reaching out again, tears in his eyes, fingers tearing at the dirt, he finally reached the axe.
He gripped the spear again...held as hard as he could...and with his free hand swung with the blood stained axe.  He hit it twice.  It snapped six inches above his wound.
He talked himself into getting off the stake.  Knowing the pain it would take...all he could think about was exacting revenge...he thought about the death around him...he saw his face.  Teeth grit, body tense.  He leaned up.  Pulled himself over the wood spear.
The warrior stood, tore some clothing from his fallen friend and wrapped it tight around his waist and winced in pain.  He knew it wouldn't last.  He knew he would be dead shortly.  Maybe long enough to make it to the next battlefield to extract some sort of revenge.  Maybe he would die before making his tenth step.
Picked up his sword, then his helmet, dusted it off, and placed it back upon his head, looked into the distance, and said to himself; "I'm coming for you." And began walking.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Growing up Hurt and Humiliate Part 12: Die Harder

I'm beginning to believe that God has installed some sort of Mutant Healing Factor in my DNA, as if you've read in the past (thank you), then you know I've been thrown and kicked by horses and cows, hit by a car, and survived an unsurvivable car crash among other things.  

Two such injuries happened during my employ at the Florence location of Spencer Gifts.

I first started working there in February of 1998.  We had a jewelry case of the finest gold and silver in all the lands.  The kind that came in on a UPS drop ship.   It was kept locked up in a glass case to be displayed for all of Waterloo to come and be in awe of.

One day, one of the four fluorescent bulbs went out.  I went to turn the breakers to the case off to take out and replace the bulb.  The bulbs face inward towards the jewelry to show off the karats.  So to change the bulbs, you have to lean into the case.  I unscrewed the metal encasement that housed the sockets for the bulbs.  No problems.  Then I had to brace myself by holding on to the metal frame, lest I fall into the cabinet and damage the tens of tens of dollars worth of jewelry.
I twist the bulb, pull it out.  And then my finger completed the circuit.

I don't know how much electricity went through me, but I do know this.  I jumped a good inch off the base and on to my finger.  I do know that I couldn't move.  I do know when the breaker finally flipped and electricity decided to release me I fell to my knees, feeling like I had just ran a marathon.

I was back at work 20 minutes later.

Here's another time.

During one of my sentences of working at Spencer Gifts, Lava Lamps had become super popular.  Like crazy, sold 10 every day popular.  So, we stocked the hell out of them.  We had all the designs that could possibly be sold.  The worst was a leopard print base.

At any rate, the stocking of these things became a problem in our little store, so we had to resort to putting the over stock on the tip top shelf.  Only accessible by ladder.

Unless you didn't feel like getting out the heavy ass ladder, and could scale the shelves like I did.

I was told by my manger to go up there and get a certain style of globe.  Not a problem.  I could easily grab one, and scale back down with one hand.  You see, for as unbelievably clumsy as I am, I can also be quite agile.   Which does lead to some interesting perdicaments.

So, she says "while you're up there, grab a (insert ugly as fuck) base, too. "

I did.

With the hand that I held on to the shelf with.

It was one of Wile E. Coyote moments where you realize that you're going to fall, but it takes what feels like 30 seconds.  I think I even held up a sign that said "HELP".

I fell directly onto the key chain spin rack.  Which had these four points at the very top.  One of which drove directly into my arm pit.

I hit with such force, that it blew out all four poles containing our key chains.  I thought for sure I had been impaled.  But no, just big time bruises, including ribs and  arm pit and a few minor cuts.

I was back at work in 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

To Love a Band

Its twenty years ago.  I'm thirteen years old.  I've just started listening to rock the year prior.  A friend of mine gives me a CD and tells me to "listen to this, it will change your life."  That CD was Ten by Pearl Jam.

She was more right than she'll ever know.  From the first listen, I was hooked.  Every time a video came on, I was glued to the screen, memorizing the words and sounds of every song.  Then came the import singles.  They actually had songs that weren't on the album.  So I of course had to have all of them.  Since they were imports, they cost just as much as the regular whole album.  The first was Jeremy, which had the single Yellow Ledbetter.  I had no clue what he was saying, but the tone and the song was just pure awesome.  (I did later figure it out).

For their next album VS, I was there day one, to get it.  Same as Vitalogy and No Code and Yield.

No Code really spoke to me.  I always felt I could write a screen play around that album and make it the sound track.

When Yield came out, I knew that this band would always be my favorite band.  Its my single favorite album to this day.  When ever I listen to it, I still want to drop what I'm doing, and scream "I LOVE THIS FUCKING BAND!"  It probably helps that this was the tour that I first saw them.

It was Birmingham in 1998.  My friend Peace and I drove down to see Mudhoney open for Pearl Jam.  I had been to other concerts.  Big hard rock concerts, where there were fireworks, blow up voodoo characters and what not.  I had no idea what to expect from Pearl Jam.  What they had for the stage were oriental rugs, speakers and the band.  And it was perfect.  For the final song and encore, they played Baba O'Riley.  I left with a screen printed poster (that's apparently super rare) that hangs on my office wall to this day.

I've seen them twice since then, and while both were awesome shows, they don't compare to the first time.

When it comes time to figure out my internet handle for chatrooms, video games and what not, I choose what I know.  pearl jam.  But reverse and add "of"  jamofpearls

More albums came out, Binaural, Riot Act, Peal Jam, and Backspacer.  I bought and loved all of them.

Cut to wedding planning, and I need to figure out what song I want to walk down the isle to.  Kell and I decided that we wanted custom music, and not the typical stuff played.  I go back and forth, and she finally tells me to go with Man of the Hour.  I fought it for a while, as that song came out right after a friend of mine had died.  I had listened to it over and over again after his death.  I finally agreed that it could be used for a wedding song.  And I'm glad I did.  It worked perfectly.  The first time that the musicians played it for me, I got a little teary eyed.  Kell's grooms gift to me was the Pearl Jam 20 hardcover book.  Our wedding date (by pure coincidence) was 10/22/11, Pearl Jam's anniversary.

This all brings me to asking do you know what it feels like to actually love a band?  Where you will follow their music for twenty plus years and into the future.  Where you feel proud of their accomplishments like they are a family member?  Where you hear a random playing of their song on a television show, and your heart swells?

That's been my twenty plus year relationship with Pearl Jam.

I've even considered naming my first born son Stone.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'll Never be as Tough

While recounting a story on another bloggers,, I talked about my dad being a Professional Bull Rider.  Which made me think.  I'll never be as tough as he is.  Its OK for me to admit.  The man rode bulls for chrissakes.

Dad has always been tough.  As long as I've known him, which has been since birth, he's been out manning me.   He hunts.  Cleans his own kills.  He rode bulls.  In Madison Square Garden.  He's told off a New York Times reporter.  He's been in fights.  At his age, he can probably out ride me on a mechanical bull.  He seems like a good foot shorter than I am, but still scares me to death. He's fallen off a roof, only to pop a joint back into socket and go right back to work.  He almost lost an eye en route to vacation, only to travel on until we drove all the way TO TEXAS.  He's drunkenly stared down an alligator.

The only thing that makes him back down.
My mother.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Population of "Me's"

It dawned on me this morning, when I was waiting for my turn to go through the intersection, waiting on the lead car to turn left, no one gives a shit about anyone else anymore.  How did I come to this?  This particular intersection is almost impossible to turn left out of.  Some people will wait 10-15 minutes to turn left.  Turning right is no problem at all.  But every morning the same people are there trying to turn left, not giving a fuck all about the people who are turning right, and could do so with ease.  They know that they're going to have to wait.  They know they're going to cause other people to wait.  To be late to their jobs.  They know that they could take a route that won't back up traffic.  But they never do.  Why?  Because they don't give a fuck about you, me or anyone else.  Only what they want to do.

They're the same people who pull into the "NO PARKING - FIRE ZONE", right in front of the god damned entrance door.  "Its ok" they think, "I'll only be there for a second".  Wrong bitch.  Its MOST CERTAINLY NOT OK.  Not when you are making people walk around your fucking car.

They're the same assholes who just bought a new car, and instead of parking at the far end of the lot, to make sure no one opens a car door into their new vehicle will park right up front.  IN BETWEEN TWO PARKING PLACES.

These are the same type of demons who go into businesses two minutes before closing.

They leave their shopping cart in the middle of the isle, while they walk up and down.

They don't want to get in the spot directly behind you, to turn at the red light, so they'll try to race you to the next light, so they can cut you off and nearly make you rear end them.

They're the fucks who insist on texting while driving.

They will never use a blinker.

If you honk at them to alert them to a mistake they've made, they're more than willing to give you the finger for exposing their shortcomings as a driver.

These people will park in a lot clearly marked "EMPLOYEE PARKING ONLY" just because the business they need to attend to will only take a minute.

They most certainly love to talk on their cell phones while trying to conduct business with you.

Oh, and you better believe they'll let their dogs shit in your yard because "they're so small, they don't make big shits."

They love to smoke cigars in a bar.

Any and every one of these types should be revoked on their rights to procreate.  Those of us, who are trying to make our society a decent one to live and work in should not be subjected to this type of "fuck you, I'm the only one that counts" behavior.

How have people come to these types of actions?  I'm not talking only about teenagers, but all ages.  I'm talking about the 50 year old who parks his truck on the sidewalk of a grocery store, when there is open parking 20 feet away.  I'm talking about the 20 year old who pulls up at the stop light by my office, and instead of turning his stereo down, will I swear to God, turn it up until my fillings are rattling from the indecipherable bass rattling bullshit.

The "all about me, fuck what you want" attitude, it keeps me from buying beer at a store on Sunday?  WHY? If people don't want to buy beer or booze on Sunday, then don't fucking buy beer/booze on Sundays.  Why should I not be able to buy beer, just because you don't want to?  Where is the harm in me doing this?  Does it harm you?  No.  Am I coming over to your house when you get out of church and chugging beer?  No.  So why in the fuck of fucks, can I not go get a six pack of beer to enjoy while I'm grilling out?

I try to do right by other people, I hold doors open for people.  I hardly ever get thanked for it.  I use my blinker and then get cut off at the next light.  There are glimmers of hope that I notice every now and again.  But then it gets squashed by some fat ass in a van, who is practically parked in the front door of an establishment because he can't walk an extra two feet.

I'm getting to the point where I'm getting angry at people every day.  I know its completely pointless to be angry at things like this, but it builds one after another.  I let one slide, then anther instance happens a little later that day, then another.  Next thing you know, I'm sitting in my underwear, drinking rum, and pounding furiously on my keyboard about jerk offs.

This one lady today, I swear was the last straw.  She parked right in front of the entry way of Target.  I'm not talking off to the side a bit.  Or just a skew to the right.  I'm talking right dead center in front of the entry, in the fire lane.  And put it in park.  I immediately went into imagination mode of things I would love to have done right then and there.  Digging my pocket knife a quarter inch deep into the side of her car.  Kicking out her window.  Going to the sports department, grabbing a new base ball bat, and just reworking the shit out of her Honda.  Something to draw her attention that she is making people walk around her, when she should clearly not be there.

Politeness, Chivalry, they're dead.  Long live Me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm that guy now. Tales from an Android

I got my first cell phone when I was 16.  Although, it was a bag phone that was left in the car from a previous owner.  He never really deactivated it, so I was able to use it for a little while.

I didn't get an official one for another 6 years.  Didn't see the point.  But I was living in Nashville at the time, and figured it may be a little easier to get in contact with me.  It was a Cricket phone.  Which meant, the coverage was very local.  Which was all I needed it for.

When I moved back from Nashville, my parents put me on their family plan, as it was cheaper to pay an extra 10 dollars a month, then use up their minutes calling me or whatever.  I stayed on that plan until the beginning of January, as it was free, and I didn't need a new phone.

Kell and I got married, and my phone was starting to get rough.  As in the front didn't display anything anymore, and some of the keys stopped working.  Being a grown man, and married with a shitty phone, I decided it was time to get off my parents' phone plan.  I decided to get an Android phone.  I got the Samsung Stratosphere.  And I love it.

I didn't think I would mess with it that much.  Check email.  Get directions.  that sort of thing.  I was wrong.  

I'm updating Twitter, checking face book, playing Words & Hanging with friends all the time.  Constantly downloading unnecessary apps.  Its replaced my iPod, which I never thought would happen.  
I check the weather, play Angry Birds, stream my music, scan prices, do all sorts of inane shit that I wouldn't normally do, just because its there, and hell...its actually kind of fun.

If I want to see who is online playing on the PSN network...instead of turning on the PS3, i turn on my PSN friends app, and see who is on, and what they're playing.  Then, fire up the PS3.

Texting is sooooo freakin easy now, with SWYPE.  I'll never go back to one key at a time.

I've become that guy.  I love my Android.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Can't I just donate?

Why is it every time that I want to be charitable, some organization needs to give me something in return.  Its like the person that can't have the last word.
Its always something that should give you incentive to donate, whether it be your time, money or unwanted goods.
With people asking money for wounded veterans, its some pin for you to wear on your shirt.
The Salvation Army wants to give me receipts for donating things.
United Way wants to give me discount cards or something.
Its nice that they want to do something in return, but I don't find it necessary.  Why can't people just know in their heart of hearts that they did something good with out having to show for it, or get some type of kickback?
Like the ASPCA ads.  For donating, they give you a shirt or visor or something that you'll most likely end up donating to the Salvation Army.
THEN, if you tell them you don't want it, then you're the asshole for not showing off your pin or whatever.
Like those ribbon magnets for cancer.  I understand that they're supposed to make people aware of cancer, but isn't EVERYONE aware of cancer now?  The only folks that aren't, probably live in a village somewhere who have never seen a car, or a car magnet.
This goes for those magnets that say something about being against "Domestic Violence".  Is anyone for domestic violence?  I mean, save for most of the arrests on COPS.
I seems like so much of this shit just seems so unnecessary.